Saturday, December 26, 2009

Winter's Bananas

I don't like cold. I don't like coats. I don't like afternoon sunsets. I don't like winter. My instinct is to hibernate. I lose all my living urges. It takes a huge effort to get out of bed in the winter. Winters in the Pacific Northwest are especially long and dark and I have spent many unfortunate months sleeping through the cloudy mornings and afternoons until my waking moments are a dull zombie haze, like a perpetual 4:58AM on a Tuesday.

I need constant distraction and entertainment to feel safe from my seasonal inner zombie. So I am way into the holidays. BAKING and PARTYING are my winter coping mechanisms. According to my tradition, November to April should consist of gallons of cheap champagne, parties from 8 to 4, and wild-eyed sprees of baking ten pies at a time and 6 hour monster cinnamon rolls.

Tokyo has never left me under-partied, but the lack of ovens in Japan means baking requires some kind of new effort -- not really my strong point. Last night, alone on Christmas day, I decided to try making banana bread in a rice cooker. How long I've been astounded by the concept of baking with a rice cooker!

DUDE! What! Amazing! It took forever because I didn't know what setting to use. Normal was too slow, but okayu worked well.

Rice cooker! Ticket to Cake City! Population delicious!

Aya came home and we had supermarket roast chicken and banana bread and listened to old Christmas music. It was a fine holiday. Too bad my winter coping mechanisms are, as usual, threatening to pump me up like a sneaker.

Or pass me out in the genkan, respectively. Those boots are like, way hard to take off sometimes.


Tokyo Moe said...

Super crafty with the rice cooker. I had *no* idea!

Beth said...

Right?!? You can make all kinds of things with a rice cooker! Now I want to do an upside-down cake.

Gaijin Wife said...

What excellent usage of your rice cooker. Had never occured to me to make bread in it. Can you part with the secret recipe and how long it was on the okayu setting for - or did you just push button and wait till it finished? Must try - and the rocky road. Yum.

Beth said...

I used this recipe. I didn't bother finding baking soda, just used an extra pinch or two of baking powder. I think you can tell the difference in texture, but it turned out fine.

I also added some massive shakes of cinnamon because you can never have too much cinnamon or vanilla in a recipe, IMO.

So, this recipe and most others I read just cook on the normal setting for one or two cycles. I tried that and it was nowhere near done after two. It went much better on okayu, maybe one and a half cycles. I kept checking the edges and then checked with a skewer once it looked solid. I guess it's different for every machine and I don't think there's much danger of overcooking, so just press some buttons and keep an eye on it.